A charity that helps vulnerable and homeless people in the Warwick District has set up a new cafe.
Helping Hands, which is based in Leamington, works with vulnerable and homeless people in the district by providing much-needed help through a soup kitchen, skills training and its ‘House2Home’ service, which provides household items that the tenants could not afford to buy themselves.
In September the charity announced that it would be opening a cafe in Warwick, which has now opened its doors.
The Helping Hands cafe is open three days a week at the Gateway Cafe on Smith Street, which is part of Castle Hill Baptist Church.
Gary Matthews, who is the manager of the Helping Hands cafe at the Gateway Cafe, said: “We are so excited that Castle Hill Baptist Church in Warwick has allowed Helping Hands to run the Gateway cafe.
“We are now open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am to 4pm. Seventy per cent of the food we serve will be food that has been donated that would have otherwise gone to waste.
“The cafe will be run by volunteers working along- side supported volunteers. Some of the supported volunteers may have never worked before, or maybe struggling with mental health or homelessness and hopelessness, low self esteem or confidence.
“We want the cafe to be a safe place for our supported volunteers to gain confidence, skills and qualifications with the hope for some of them to move on into paid work.
“We have been helped by local businesses like Just Inspire Hospitality Event Management, Coffee Architects in Leamington, The Stockpot Cafe and many more, so thank you guys.
“We are delighted to have a base in Warwick now and will be running a soup kitchen through the cafe.
“We will also be running a suspended meal/drinks voucher scheme to give out to local people in need and all proceeds from the cafe will be going back in to the work of Helping Hands.
“We are looking forward to being a community cafe where people can feel loved and accepted. Come along and say hi to us and join us for a coffee and cake.”
The Rev Peter Burns, of Castle Hill Baptist Church, said: “We are delighted at this opportunity to partner with Helping Hands. At Castle Hill Baptist Church we have always tried to reach out to the community with tangible examples of the love of Jesus for all people, we see this partnership as a terrific example of doing that.
“On a personal level, as I prepare to leave Castle Hill, this connection represents the fruitful answer to much prayer. For some time now, we have been looking for a worthy way to make better use of the Gateway and I am excited at what the future holds for both the charity and the church.”
If you are interested in joining the cafe team email Gary: firstname.lastname@example.org